Archive for August, 2013

August 29, 2013

Business is booming! I really should start charging people…

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Attention everyone, I am now a successful businesswoman!  I have all the makings of a lucrative cat toy business: since my last post, virtually everyone I know who owns a cat (and even a bunny owner!) has requested my simple, homemade toys for their furry brood. <— Demand!  And now, I have the supply to meet it!  The toys really are quite quick and easy to make, taking only a couple hours max.  So, I devoted a few 2-hour periods last weekend to generating a pretty good stash (the eager, playful kitties of dear friends and family is an exceptional motivator!).  Unfortunately, I have neglected to charge for my coveted playthings; ’tis the flaw in my grand plan.  Ah, profit…I knew I was forgetting something in my business model.

Sadly, employee theft is still an issue: quality control has no self-restraint…

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Disclaimer to friends and family: So help me, if any of you read this and try to pay me, let me just say I will be terribly hurt and offended.  It’s my blog post angle, you guys!  Really, for aiding me in getting rid of the extra junk yarn taking up valuable storage space in the house, I’m pretty sure The Greek will offer to pay you.

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August 13, 2013

The Misadventures of Spots and Stripes, Part Five: My tedious pastime finally has purpose!

Finally, the moment has come: my needlework hobby has merged with my other great obsession, my boys.  As sometimes happens, particularly if, like me, you are still a beginner knitter, you miscalculate how much yarn you’ll need for a project and end up with a lot of scrap yarn.  For this, you need to have a fair collection of projects that allow you to use up those spare skeins.  In my case, that most definitely now includes “Crocheted balls” by Purl Bee (see also “The beekeeper’s quilt”).  Because despite making many, many gifts for loved ones that were warmly received and appreciated, my craft has just now only truly felt useful and utilitarian as I watched my little guys try to tear my crocheted creations apart.  I have an illness.

The pattern is originally intended to make stuffed balls for human children, so some adjustments had to be made to accommodate my feline children.  First, really only the extra small ball is the appropriate size.  Second, I don’t do the embroidery: for starters, that seems like an awful lot of effort for something that will swiftly be torn apart and drooled all over, and also, and this is my imploration to you if you decide to give these a try, the thread could be ripped out and eaten which would be dangerous to diminutive digestive systems.  Thirdly, I used yarn to make fringe for a few of the toys so they can be tossed excitedly and chased, which they were…repeatedly.  Finally, I folded some loose catnip into the filling…because duh!

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Some interesting observations:

  • What is normally a pretty tame avocation becomes kind of a high-stress occupation when you put catnip inside of your crocheted project and then try to finish it with two glassy-eyed feline junkies (whose pupils are so dilated they just look like black discs) staring apprehensively at you inches from your work.
  • When photographing the boys for this post, it was remarkably hard to keep them in frame when their blood-lust was surging and they were high out of their minds on kitty weed.  With that in mind, I did manage to snap a few hilarious action shots, which I will share with you now:

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Otis just wanted to rub against it…and salivate all over it.  So, so, so much drool!  But little Jack went freakin’ ballistic…

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Next for the boys: little sweaters!  Where the joy of the completed project completely shifts in the other direction…I am so going to enjoy that day!

August 11, 2013

New recommendation: Krusteaz Lemon Bar Mix

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Okay, I know I keep saying I’m not a boxed mix type of girl…but then keep recommending mixes, in the same sentence.  But this fabulous mix from Costco simply must be acknowledged.  The Greek brought this home one day along with a 10-lb bag of lemons (everything at Costco must of course come in ridiculously large portions) because, well, I don’t know…evidently when you send the Greek out for ingredients for baked goods, no less than five servings are expected from the effort.  The bulk mix alone comes in a 3-pack!  But the box also contains a simply delicious recipe for lemon bar cheesecake, which is very popular around these parts and allows me to flex my culinary muscles.  And because my actual from-scratch recipe for Lemon Squares calls for only about 1-2 lemons, we’ve also been enjoying gallons and gallons of lemonade, which allows me to flex my actual (and far less substantial) muscles.  See also this and this for good lemon square recipes, but I like mine from Food Network the best because it has more lemon flavor.

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